“I agree with you, Michael. "Aging services technologies (ASTs) can help older adults and people with disabilities achieve and maintain maximum physical function, live as independently as possible and participate in and contribute to society" concludes a recent major HHS report to Congress. The report looked at the experience of other countries with ASTs. LeadingAge CAST co-directed the study leading to the report, in partnership with NORC. Here is a link to an article about the report: http://leadingage.org/Aging_Services_Technology_Study.aspx.
There are significant opportunities for engaging the aging population and tapping into their wealth of experience and available time through volunteerism and “flexible” employment opportunities. And technology, including smart phones like the iPhone 5 and others, can help with that. I believe that free intuitive apps designed to meaningfully fill gaps in the wants and needs of older adults are the way of the “near” future.
Such apps have the potential to be a win-win situation for technology-enabled aging services providers: the consumers (older adults and their family caregivers) get connected the services they need, and the provider extends their services into the broader community. Remote monitoring enables the provider to deliver proactive, preventive and supportive services on an as needed basis efficiently and cost-effectively.
The above referenced report points to many barriers, and puts forward suggestions to overcome such barriers. It will take a "country" to carry these strategies forward and to harness the opportunities created by aging and technology.”